Rugby League: Lucky break for bruised Edwards

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The Independent Online
Wigan are relieved to have been told that their captain, Shaun Edwards, has not fractured his cheekbone, as was feared after Sunday's first league defeat of the season at Leeds.

Edwards has been diagnosed as having severe bruising near the site of the horrific fractured eye socket he suffered in the 1990 Challenge Cup final, but no break.

He is almost certain to miss this Sunday's Regal Trophy third round tie at Hull, but should be fit for the Christmas and new year games against St Helens and Warrington.

Edwards also missed the presentation of the BBC's Team of the Year award to Wigan on Sunday night - the first time in 40 years of the awards that a rugby league side have been so honoured. The club's vice- captain, Phil Clarke, received the award in his place.

Hull will remain under the supervision of their caretaker partnership of Russ Walker and Phil Windley until after Christmas. The pair may apply for the permanent post.

The Rugby Football League has asked the Rugby Football Union to clarify the position of Adrian Spencer, who played as a 60th-minute replacement for Cambridge in the rugby union Varsity match last week, despite having played rugby league at professional Photograp level.

Spencer was spotted by the London Crusaders, now the Broncos, playing league for Cambridge University in 1993 and played a number of matches for them.

"Adrian is in every respect a professional, yet he is still permitted to play rugby union at such a lofty level in such a showpiece occasion," the League's Neil Tunnicliff said. "If there is a loophole that applies to student rugby players, then it wouldbe most helpful for us to know so that we can advise them what they can and cannot do in future."

Home unions have warned players against "professionalising" themselves by playing league, and the RFL is anxious to clarify the inconsistency.